I LOVE FRANCE!
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Paris, I Love You
but You’re Bringing Me Down
Release date: June 25, 2013 by Picador/Macmillan
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received a free paperback of this book from Picador
in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post,
and the thoughts are my own.
You can purchase this book
by clicking on the publisher’s link (hardcover, paperback, ebook).
This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
First, my apology for the irregular pace of that meme: sometimes nothing is up in a given week, and here you go, 2 posts for I Love France this week. The truth, there’s currently an abundance of great books on France.
I enjoyed this book very much. Like French Illusions, Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down helps to debunk our too romantic-ideal pictures of France, and especially of Paris.
Yes Paris can be beautiful, and Rosecrans and his wife did fall in its spell. But coming from the US to work there, they also experienced how tough the Parisians can be, and how difficult it is to feel integrated, even after you pass the first hurdle of the language.
Talking about language, in his vignettes following the chronology of his stay in Paris, a bit over a year, there are hilarious stories of misunderstanding. I picked up a few additional mistakes in the text, which I believe were not intentional, so that added more fun to me, French reader.
There are lots of things on the work place and work ethics in France, if such a thing exists there, lol.
I really enjoyed Baldwin’s descriptions and reflections on differences between Americans and French.
The strength of the book I believe is the balance between the deep love of France and Paris AND the honest perceptions that not everything, to say the least, is honky-dory there, especially if you are sent to live and work in Paris.
If you are planning for a lengthy time there, please do read this book, it might even be a life-saver, and will definitely help you enjoy your stay better.
There were several passages on scarves; if you have been to Paris, you will understand why, as you probably quickly noticed how many Parisian MEN wear scarves, and with what art!
And oh yes the cold in Paris, actually especially in the subway corridors.
“Cold in Paris was both and physical and a mental note. It explained why Parisians wore scarves in June, because winter haunted them.” p.166
“The world outside America was a jungle. we adopted a sagelike carriage and clasped our sanitized hands behind our backs – for our pockets were stuffed full of incredible resources.” p.222
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
“A Judd Apatow film in the waiting…Very, very funny.”—John Freeman, The Boston Globe
A self-described Francophile since the age of nine, Rosecrans Baldwin had always dreamed of living in France. So when an offer presented itself to work at a Parisian ad agency, he couldn’t turn it down—even though he had no experience in advertising, and even though he hardly spoke French.
But the Paris that Rosecrans and his wife, Rachel, arrived in wasn’t the romantic city he remembered, and over the next eighteen months, his dogged American optimism was put to the test: at work (where he wrote booklets on breastfeeding), at home (in the hub of a massive construction project), and at every confusing dinner party in between. A hilarious and refreshingly honest look at one of our most beloved cities, Paris, I Love You is the story of a young man whose preconceptions are usurped by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy metropolis—which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris a second time. [Publisher’s website]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News.
REVIEWS BY OTHER BLOGGERS
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